Spot on Rodney, now let’s see if the Greens can explain where all those te reo teachers are going to come from

Rodney Hide has spotted the massive flaws in the Greens plan for force all children into compulsory te reo classes.

I would love to be able to speak te reo fluently. I would also like to play the violin, solve Einstein’s field equations and run a sub-three hour marathon.

I can’t do any of these things. It’s not that I am lazy. It’s that I am busy. I figure the reward wouldn’t justify the required effort. My priorities are where the effort is less and the reward greater.

There in a nutshell is the problem with making te reo compulsory in schools.

It would be marvellous if all our children were fluent but it would come with a cost. Students don’t now have an hour a day at school with nothing to do. That means dropping something in their curriculum to make way for te reo.

Something has to give. But apart from cell doors, the only doors opening for being fluent in te reo would be government jobs.

That’s where the Green and Labour MPs fall down. They don’t explain what is to be given up. Is it physical education, mathematics, science or English? Or a bit of each?

The Greens (and their supportive Labour MPs) also show how out-of-touch they are with mums and dads. We desperately want our children to do well at school so they can develop into well-rounded and productive adults. We want them to nail that all-important first job.

We see where science, maths and English fit into that aspiration but te reo? That might work if their choice of profession is teaching or working for government but beyond that not so much.

The choice of job opportunities is too narrow and compulsory te reo for 10 years would cost our children a lot but add not much.

We want te reo to survive but we don’t see why our children should carry the burden. We are selfish in wanting what’s best for our children and we don’t want them used to achieve some or other politically correct goal set by politicians eager simply to demonstrate their wonderfulness.

It is just virtue signalling from the woman who can’t speak te reo unless it is written out for her before hand. But there are bigger problems.

The Greens and Labour also ignore the practical problems. It’s part of the ideology and practice of New Zealand education that all teachers are equally good. They must be all paid the same and can’t readily be sacked.

So how then are Greens and Labour to find the thousands of te reo teachers their policy would demand? There aren’t thousands of te reo teachers waiting to be employed. And there aren’t thousands of existing teachers ready to make way for them.

Where indeed?

The call for compulsory te reo does serve a purpose: it serves to show that Labour and the Greens are totally out of touch with voter concerns and not ready for the practicalities of implementing policy in government.

Their call also highlights another problem. Labour and the Greens have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to change the Government.

But where does that leave Green policy such as this one? Does that mean a Labour-Green Government would make te reo compulsory? Voters need to know.

Labour and the Greens are going to have to tell parents where their kids who are fluent in te reo are going to get jobs with that skill.

Another dopey policy that is nothing more than bumper sticker, virtue signalling slogans.


– NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.